Digital marketing is a great way for financial advisers to attract new clients, and engage current ones. Yet it can be confusing for IFAs who have limited experience or knowledge in the subject.
There are lots of ways to “do” digital marketing. The different marketing channels used under this umbrella term include, for instance:
- Social advertising
This article explains some of these digital channels in more detail, and how they can be effective (or not) for financial advisers.
Just before we dive in, it’s worth stating that each financial firm has different marketing goals. One business’s primary objective might be greater brand exposure, for instance. Another, however, might just be just concerned with pure lead generation.
This will affect which marketing channels you use, and how you use them.
Your clients will also be different from other IFAs’ clients. So what engages them digitally might also differ from your competitors.
Your branding also matters as well. It might come across well on some digital marketing channels, but not others, depending on how people “feel” and experience your branding for the first time.
In other words, read our list of marketing channels carefully. Use it to judge what might work for you.
At the end of the day, however, you’ll need a tailored strategy to determine which marketing course will be most cost-effective and worthwhile for you. Almost certainly, you will then need professional assistance to help you implement these channels properly once you’ve identified your strategy.
#1 SEO For Financial Advisers
SEO (search engine optimisation), for most financial advisers we work with, is their digital marketing “bread and butter”. In other words, you usually need a good reason not to engage in SEO, rather than a reason to do it.
SEO is the practice of encouraging your website’s organic visibility in search engines, particularly in Google Search (given its dominance of the UK search market).
You’re not trying to rank high for every search term – just those which are relevant to your target audience. For instance, a common search term used by potential IFA clients is:
“financial adviser near me”
So that’s quite a good one to go for with your SEO strategy.
Since most IFAs are small firms, it isn’t usually feasible for them to try and rank for keywords across the UK. The competition is just too fierce.
It typically makes more sense to focus SEO locally. This actually suits lots of IFAs much better, since many want to focus on growing a client base of local, HNW individuals.
SEO takes time to build up. Often, it can take several months to get you onto page one of Google. This position is where you need to be aiming. Most users don’t scroll onto page two.
So if you’re not on page one, you’re really not anywhere. If you’re on page one, however, that’s where lots of brand visibility, engagement and lead generation opportunities lie.
There are many moving parts to SEO, along with a lot of technical work to do. Even if you know what you’re doing, you still need to allot a considerable amount of time each month to the work.
You’re therefore usually better off working with a financial marketing agency to help you with your SEO, rather than trying to manage it all in-house. Most IFAs need to devote their time to their clients, and outsourcing the work like this to an experienced agency allows them to do so.
#2 PPC For Financial Firms
PPC (Pay Per Click) covers a few different marketing channels, but for IFAs it usually refers to Google AdWords (soon to be called Google Ads).
Google AdWords allows you to position adverts at/near the top of its search engine results, which link back to your website. They appear when people search for keywords you have targeted with your ads, and you pay Google a fee each time someone clicks on them.
Here’s an example of one of our Google Ads in action:
For instance, suppose an IFA wanted to show adverts to people in Manchester searching for a “pension adviser”. They could could then:
- Create an advert in AdWords, advertising themselves as a pension adviser / specialist.
- Set a daily budget so the advert appears throughout the day.
- Restrict its appearance to only show to people in Manchester.
- Restrict its appearance to only show to people who search for “pension adviser”, or something fairly close.
PPC is a great way to get high search engine visibility very quickly.
However, PPC systems like AdWords are quite complex to run. They need regular attention and optimisation, as budgets can quickly get out of control if you don’t know what you’re doing.
#3 Social Advertising For IFAs
Financial advisers have a plethora of social media channels to choose from for their marketing:
And many more.
In our experience, however, it is usually the first three in the above list which most financial advisers tend to be interested in (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).
We can’t possibly cover the inner-workings of each social media platform here, or their respective pros and cons for financial advisers. However, we can say a bit about one: Facebook.
Facebook offers a powerful way for IFAs to target potential clients through Facebook Advertising. You can even show tailored adverts to distinct demographics in particular geographic areas.
For instance, you could show adverts to potential clients on Facebook depending on:
- Where they live
- What job / industry they work in
- How old they are
- Their marital status
- Their interests and hobbies
And more. You can get pretty specific!
Facebook advertising operates similarly to Google AdWords in that you pay for each click on your ad. With Facebook Ads, however, in our experience the typical cost per click does tend to be lower.
This might all sound great. Just bear in mind, however, that when people click on your Facebook ad, they tend to go to your Facebook page rather than your website.
This means you need to have an active, credible and branded Facebook page if you hope to get any engagement out of it. So be prepared for the work involved with that – or be prepared to outsource it – if you’re thinking about leveraging this digital marketing channel.
One way around this is to use Facebook Lead Ads, which offers potential clients something of value to download (e.g. a white paper) in exchange for their email address.